My hubby Paul—I'm His First Wife—told me you were starting up a southern living magazine. When I heard that, I wanted to share a good Southern recipe that I learned from my mama, who learned it from her mama, and so on. I already passed it on to my girls and they do it real good, too.
I was born in Mississippi and then was raised in Georgia in the 40s, 50s and early 60s. When it came time for me to learn how to cook, it was just natural that I become a good Southern cook. One of the things that every Southern lady needs to master is how to fry good Southern fried chicken.
My mama taught me well because when my hubby took me out West, all my western friends were always complimentary when they ate the fried chicken that my mama taught me to fix.
Here is the recipe. Take a whole chicken, cut it in pieces with the breast split in two, unless it is really large, and then the breast would be split into three pieces. Wash the individual pieces. Salt and pepper real good. Then simply dip each piece into flour. I have mostly used white flour, but rice flour makes a great coating as well. Don’t put anything else on it; just salt, pepper and flour.
Preheat your oil, (plenty of it) in a black cast iron skillet. Turn it up to high, then put in the chicken pieces when the oil gets hot. Then after a couple of minutes of frying on high, turn down to medium high. It gives the chicken time to cook inside without burning it. Cook the chicken at that heat, turning the pieces after they start browning. When the chicken has cooked on the second side and starts to brown, then turn up the heat to high (on a gas stove, maybe just a little more than medium high on electric). Fry the chicken until it turns a golden orange. At this point, the chicken should be done and quite crispy. Never cover the chicken.
The secrets are:
- Black cast iron skillet
- Lots of oil
- Cook on higher than normal heat, starting and ending on high. It takes looking after.
- Make sure the chicken has that golden orange look.
- Don’t ever put a cover on it.